Monday, June 3, 2024

Something like a latte

It's time for that recurring feature, "What is Paul drinking?"

The warm summer weather turned my mind toward coffee concentrate. I use a simple approach gleaned from online advice: fill a pitcher 24-35% with ground coffee, top it off with water, and let it sit on the counter for eight hours or so to brew, shaking occasionally. This gives a strong, dark liquid that is a great base for iced coffee, and I often have both decaf and regular in my fridge in season. It also works for a hot morning cup in cases where I am out of whole beans, which happened to be the case last week. 

The last week has been quite mild, the high temperatures only being in the low 70s. It wasn't the right weather for iced coffee, so I wondered what else I could do with my concentrate. I came across a site describing how to make a latte at home with no fancy equipment, and this inspired me to try something like that myself. Turns out, I can make something at home that is a lot like the cappucino I might order at the Bookmark Cafe.

Here's what I've been tinkering with:

  • About two ounces of coffee concentrate in a coffee cup, heated in the microwave for thirty seconds
  • Just under six ounces of whole milk in a ball jar, heated in the microwave for a minute
  • Froth up the milk using the fancy battery-powered handheld frother that, until recently, I didn't know we had in our kitchen utility drawer
  • Slowly pour the milk into the coffee cup, which will leave the foam on top.
The result is quite nice. It's not that much complicated than my usual French press coffee. It is pretty, and if your pants are really fancy, you can sprinkle cinnamon on top. The flavor and mouthfeel are pleasant, and I don't think I could tell you if it was made with espresso or coffee concentrate. I call this a successful experiment, and there's a good chance I'll be making a decaf one this afternoon. 

I normally don't sweeten my cappucino, but I wanted to try that last time I made one of these homemade lattes. I added some simple syrup and vanilla extract after combining everything, but I think if I did this again, I'd add it before frothing to eliminate stirring later.

I'm also working on a batch of mulberry mead, and I will have more to say about that later. In particular, I will probably say, "Don't put the bag of berries into the carboy because it will float to the top and cause headaches." 

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